London and Brussels have “made very little progress towards agreement on the most significant outstanding issues between us”, the UK’s Brexit negotiator has said.
David Frost issued the downbeat assessment at the end of the third round of talks on the future relationship between the two sides.
Britain left the EU at the end of January after 47 years of membership and is currently in an 11-month transition period which ends in December.
This time frame is being used to negotiate a free trade agreement and sort out the terms of the future relationship that will govern ties between the UK and the EU in the future.
“Both sides have tabled full legal texts, there are plenty of precedents, and there is clearly a good understanding between negotiators,” he said.
Mr Frost said the UK will “continue to work hard to find an agreement”, but warned: “We very much need a change in EU approach for the next round beginning on 1 June.”
He said the “major obstacle” to a deal was the EU’s “insistence on including a set of novel and unbalanced proposals on the so-called ‘level playing field’,” Mr Frost claimed.
He added that this would “bind this country to EU law or standards, or determine our domestic legal regimes, in a way that is unprecedented”.
The UK’s negotiator continued: “As soon as the EU recognises that we will not conclude an agreement on that basis, we will be able to make progress.”